Monday, 10 December 2012 23:46(JollofNews) – Authorities in Gambia have released the Gambian editor of Jollof News, Abdoulie John. Mr John, who also reports for the Associated Press from Banjul, was released Monday evening, following widespread condemnation of his detention on Sunday.
The journalist was covering the release of eight Senegalese security personnel who’d been captured by the MFDC rebels in the Southern Senegalese city of Casamance, when his arrest was ordered by the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
He was first briefly detained at Sibanor Police Station in Western Gambia, before been transferred in a military vehicle to the NIA headquarters in Banjul.
The journalist threatened to go on hunger strike when he was been questioned.
“I informed them about my resolve to start a hunger strike so as to protest against my arrest and detention,” John told JollofNews after his release.
The journalist spent more than 24 hours in detention.
He said the NIA officer who was interrogating him came to the conclusion that there was nothing that could implicate him in what he’d been accused of by State House Photographer, Sulayman Gasama, who is suspected to have been in league with the Press Officer at State House, former GRTS reporter, Abdoul Njie.
The eight Senegalese soldiers were released with the intervention of Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, who has himself been accused by the Senegalese of fuelling the decades-long separatist unrest in the south of that country.
“What happened to me was done in front of the State House Press Officer Abdoul Njie who seemed to have connived with Sulayman Gassama to prevent me from covering the event,” John said.
“These are the same people that have a 'Bantaba' at State House where lies and diabolic plans are the order of the day.”
Meanwhile, sources in Banjul said the younger brother of Journalist Aboubacarr Saidikhan, one of two journalists recently detained and released by the Gambian government, remains in detention.
The young man was detained when he refused to disclose the whereabouts of his elder brother to the NIA officials.
Imam Baba Leigh, a vocal religious scholar, also remains in detention after his arrest last week.
Written by JollofNews
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